Pa Doug McIntyre
Posted by FOX Sports Soccer

Editor’s note: Every day from now until the start of the first match World Cup 2022 On November 20, we will open another memory from the history of the World Cup. The countdown to 101 continues with North Korea’s victory over Italy in 1966.

Believe it or not, the most shocking World Cup upset of all time isn’t an amateur one United States’ an obscure 1-0 win over the then mighty England in 1950 Honor actually falls out North Koreawhich sixteen years later stunned Italythe only country except Brazil with multiple world titles up to this point.

The 1966 World Cup in England was North Korea’s first, although they had competed for Japan in the first three competitions in the 1930s. No one expected much from the newcomers as individual contestants. They expected even less when the Soviet Union crushed them 3-0 in the opening game.

North Korea bounced back in their next group stage game, drawing with Chile. That set the stage for the final match of the first round against two-time champions Azzurri. Italy were heavy favorites but had no answer after Park Doo-ik put the underdogs ahead just before half-time at Middlesbrough. North Korea won both the match — knocking out the Italians in the process — and the group, making them the first Asian team to reach the knockout stages.

And they almost pulled off another miracle in the quarter-finals, squandering a 3-0 lead over Portugal by conceding five straight goals. North Korea did not return to the World Cup for another 44 years. They are still waiting for their second win.

North Korea is making history

North Korea became the first Asian team to advance to the first round in 1966.

One of North America’s leading soccer journalists, Doug McIntyre has covered the United States men’s and women’s national teams at numerous FIFA World Cups. Before joining FOX Sports in 2021, he was a staff writer for ESPN and Yahoo Sports. Follow him on Twitter @Written by Doug McIntyre.


Get more from FIFA World Cup 2022 Follow your favorites to stay updated on games, news and more